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Atlanta Half Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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Atlanta, Georgia
United States
Atlanta Track Club
33F / 1C
Total Time = 1h 53m 54s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

The night that went on forever. 3 solid hours of sleep. Maybe less. So we stayed at the host hotel the night before the race since we were heading to the grandparents for Thanksgiving after the race. This was the first time for my boys, age 4 and 18 mos, to stay in a hotel. So there was lots of looking out the window at all the action on the street, lots of wanting to go up and down on the elevators, and lots of jumping back and forth on the two double beds.

Anyway, we're all settled in and at about 11pm, I was still trying to get to sleep when the youngest wakes up and starts wailing. So my wife puts him in bed with her, and I move over to the older one's bed. The younger one tosses and turns for an hour and about about 12:00, the older one starts breathing really hard and lets out a scream. I wake him up and he says he was having a bad dream about spiders. So I take him in to the bathroom to get some water and we talk about how everybody has bad dreams and that they aren't real and that he should think about happy things before going back to sleep. We go back to bed but he won't put his feet under the covers b/c of the spiders. We eventually turn on the TV and find some cartoons for him to watch to get his mind off the spiders. By this time the younger one is fully awake and wants to look out the window and say "car" everytime a car goes by.

During all of this I'm in and out of sleep and starting to worry that I won't get any rest all. Finally at close to 3am everybody is asleep, including me. My eyes pop open after what seemed like 8 hours of sleep and I fully expected to look at the clock and see 9am. I frantically hit the glow button on my watch to see that it was only 4:50. I figured I might as well get up and get going. So I get dressed, eat a power bar and drink some Infinit and coffee, and head out for the race.
Event warmup:

I ran a few laps of a parking lot of a grocery store near the start. Then I found my corral and waited.
  • 1h 53m 54s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 41s  min/mile

Great run up until about mile 8. I was cruising at about 8:25/miles and feeling very comfortable. Even after Cardiac hill I was feeling good. So at mile 8 I started to think about going for sub 1:50. I figured if I could hold 8:25's until mile 11, I would hammer the last 5k and go for it. Well that plan of attack unraveled almost as quick as it was hatched. Just after mile 8 my IT band started barking at me. The weird thing was that it was worse on the uphills, but felt better on the downhills. Its usually opposite of that. Also at mile 8 was when the endless assault of hills came. I struggled to stay under 9:00/miles and by the last few hills I was barely moving forward. The only thing that kept my mind off of how tired I was, was how bad my IT band hurt. So needless to say by mile 11 I was not thinking about making a charge, I was just trying to make it to the finish line. Those Olympic rings couldn't come soon enough, but eventually they did, and as they got closer I realized...that they were not the finish line!! What the hell? The finish line was another 2 tenths of a mile down the road, which was odd b/c my garmin said 13.1 right under the rings. How hard would it have been to make the finish right under the rings? So I staggered the rest of the way to cross the line, get my medal and my blanket and try to stay upright.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. I gave it as much effort as I could. Just continue to work on endurance so my body is more comfortable at longer distances. I felt so beat up after this race. And I was crazy sore the next day. I mean like weight workout in the gym sore, not normal running sore.
Post race
Warm down:

Got some powerade and water, bananas and crackers. Talked with a few people briefly and then started the death march to the Marta station, and then back to the hotel. That was the longest 45 minutes of my life. The hot shower at the hotel was heaven sent. If check out wasn't at 12, I'd still be in there.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Hills. Gravity to be more specific.

Event comments:

Good overall experience for me, not just including the race. We'll probably do it again next year.

Last updated: 2008-10-30 12:00 AM
01:53:54 | 13.1 miles | 08m 41s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Course: Point to point run down P'tree and finishing at Turner field. First half of the course was cake, the second half was rotten cake. There was hill after hill after hill. The only thing that kept me going was that I kept thinking that each hill had to be the last one. But I was always wrong.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2008-11-28 9:50 PM

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: Atlanta Half Marathon

2008-11-28 10:17 PM
in reply to: #1829940

Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Atlanta Half Marathon
Great race report, and solid race.  I can totally relate to your next day soreness, it felt like I had been maxing out on some serious weights or something.  My heart goes out to you for having to make that hike just to ride marta lol.  I bet it made that hot shower all the more rewarding though.
2008-11-28 10:31 PM
in reply to: #1829940

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Whispering Pines, North Carolina
Subject: RE: Atlanta Half Marathon

Haha, the MARTA death march! I was there! I had to go up a flight of stairs and that was torture! Somebody told me to not sit down in the train car and I did anyways...boy, that was a mistake!

I was also sooo sore the next day. Almost unbearably! I have never been that sore in my knee area...EVER! Could hardly go up stairs, or even walk!

My garmin said the actual distance was 13.22...maybe it was longer!

Nice run, man...especially with as little sleep as you got! Way to hang in there!

2008-11-29 5:25 AM
in reply to: #1829940

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Roswell, GA
Subject: RE: Atlanta Half Marathon

Way to break 2 hours. 

Are you becoming a runner?


2008-11-29 8:13 AM
in reply to: #1829940

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Atlanta, Georgia
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Atlanta Half Marathon
Great Job!

Now that you mention it, why doesn't the race end at the Rings? Move the start line back a few hundred yards or so and you've got instant Olympic symbolism..
2008-11-29 2:49 PM
in reply to: #1829940

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Roswell, GA
Subject: RE: Atlanta Half Marathon
Awesome job on the PR and breaking 2 hours especially with the hotel experience.   Your funny story makes me glad that I have teenagers........wait - that's not true.....

2008-12-02 9:31 AM
in reply to: #1829940

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Subject: RE: Atlanta Half Marathon
Really enjoyed your race report, esp the hotel experience. I've been there before! You handled it well. I too was in Atlanta that day, but ran the Marietta Gobble Jog 10K instead saving myself for the Kiawah Island Half this Saturday. Congrats on a nice race.
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